Archive – 2020 events

On 19th March the groups advice read: “In the light of the government announcements on Covid-19 we are postponing all bat group meetings until the advice changes.

On 1st July 2020, the Bat Group made the following more detailed update on future events:

  1. We will be carrying out some acoustic surveys on an individual or small group basis this summer 2020. This includes the NBMP Field and Waterways Surveys and possibly Landscape surveys. These will be done according to the guidance issued by the BCT.
  2. As none of the bat groups work can be considered “essential”, we will not be carrying out any events that involve possible contact with bats. This includes, bat box checks, trapping, internal roost or cave visits. This is in line with DEFRA’s guidance to the BCT, which is guided by the IUCN advice, that there is a “credible risk” of human to bat Covid-19 transmission. This is likely to be the situation for the foreseeable future.
  3. We will not be holding any public events this year. This includes bat walks, talks, advice or training events. This is due to the uncertainty of what restrictions will be in place over the coming months, and also because many of the groups key organisers have reasons to remain shielded.

NBMP Winter Hibernation Counts – December to Feb 2020

Licenced bat workers carry out surveys of hibernation sites from December to March each year.  More details about the hibernation survey on BCTs website 

Keep an eye on our Facebook group, for more surveyors requesting help.  The current requests for help are:

  • Burrington Combe, three spaces on each, (2nd Dec update – all dates fully booked), contact Pete Banfield.
    • 8th December 2019
    • 5th January 2020
    • 8th February 2020 (postponed due to storm Ciara)
  • Taunton Police Station Tunnels – contact Cath Shellswell.  Unfortunately the Station and Old Prison are for sale and they don’t want anyone to enter the property currently, we’ll continue to work on this.
  • Several morning visits to Mells valley bat houses contact Adel Avery for details.
    • Sunday 15th Dec 19 – Keepers Cottage, Harridge Woods,  BA3 5AA.
    • Sunday 19th Jan – Keepers Cottage and Wadbury Bat house.
    • Sunday 16th Feb – Keepers Cottage and Wadbury Bat house (postponed until 23rd due to storm Daniel)

Somerset Bat Group Virtual AGM – by Saturday 25th April 2020

We have emailed members information, so they can take part in a virtual AGM via email and have a say in the running of the group.

Mells Valley SAC Bat Landscape Survey – Public events – POSTPONED until April 2021 due to Covid-19

Two talks and walks to introduce local residents to this project.  Bat group help and volunteers very welcome contact Andy for details.

  • Public Talk – Somerset Earth Science, Moon’s Hill Quarry, Stoke St Michael, Somerset, BA3 5JU
  • Public Walk – Starting in Stoke St Micheal, heading to Cooks Wood Quarry caves.
  • Public Talk – Location TBC possibly Great Elm.
  • Public walk – Starting outside Mells and heading down Wadbury Valley

Levels Bat Box checks – Sat in April/May 2020 -POSTPONED due to Covid-19

Checking bat boxes in Westhay, Catcott SWT reserves, Shapwick Heath & Canada Farm (NE).  Last year we found the earliest pups in the country, what will this year bring?

  • Contact leader if coming: Paul Kennedy
  • 10am > 3pm.  All day event, bring packed lunch.
  • Westhay SWT, Daggs Lane Drove ST456437/Catcott SWT ST399414

Radio Tracking Training day – June 2020 – POSTPONED

Full day classroom session for those volunteering to help out with radio tracking Bechstein’s bat in July.

  • Location and booking details to follow

Radio Tracking Bechstein’s bat – W/c Tues 27th July 2020– POSTPONED

Joint project with Dorset Bat group in mid Somerset as part of the Bechstein’s “finding its limit” project.  Our Chair Paul says “It’s gonna be aaaammmaaaazing!”

  • Lots of volunteers required, willing to stay up for one or two nights during the weeks tracking.
  • As it is “all night”, volunteers are expected not to go to work the following day.
  • Volunteers will need to be fully paid up SBG or DBG members to be covered by Third Party Insurance
  • More details, and how to volunteer to be published nearer the date.

Wells Bat Walk –  Tues 27th July 2020 – POSTPONED

The first of Dave’s walks round the Bishops Palace moat in Wells, for Bruton SWT group.  Public event, bat group support welcome.  email leader if coming to help.

  • Approx. 8.45   Meet: by gatehouse over moat.
  • Leader: Dave Cottle (01749 674257) 
  • Bishop’s Palace, Wells, BA5 2PD, parking nearby Market Square or Silver St.

Shapwick Bat Walk – Friday 31st July 2020 -POSTPONED

Public bat walk for Natural England on the Shapwick reserve.  Help from bat group members welcome, contact leader if attending

  • Meet at 8:30 PM at Shapwick Car Park, plan to end at 10:30PM ish
  • Leader: Dave Cottle (01749 674257) 

National Bat Monitoring Programs

29/5/20 – BCT have issued updated advice regarding which NBMP surveys can be undertaken this year,  more details here.

For many years, lots of group members  have collected and contributed data to these national monitoring programs run by the BCT.  Each survey site is allocated to a experienced bat worker, and in many cases they need lots of help.  Hence there any many opportunities learn more while doing you bit to help bat conservation.

The surveys happen at the same time every year, so watch out for the emails and facebook messages nearer the time for details of when, where and who the lead contact is:

Late May to early July – NBMP Roost Surveys

  • Sunset emergent counts at roosts across Somerset – more details

July – NBMP Field Surveys

  • Monitoring noctule, serotine, common pipistrelle and soprano pipistrelle.
  • Two 1km recording walks, starting 20mins after sunset. – more details

Late July to early September – NBMP Woodland Surveys – PostPoned

  • Monitoring barbastelles at sites designated as Special Areas of Conservation.
  • One hour recording transects in mature broadleaved Somerset woodlands.

August – NBMP Waterways Surveys

  • Monitoring activity of Daubenton’s bats along Somersets waterways.
  • Two waterside recording walks, starting 40mins after sunset – more details

Wells Bat Walk –  Tues 25th August and Tues 1st Sept 2020 – POSTPONED

Dave’s hugely popular walk for Wells and Mendip SWT group, round Bishop’s  Palace, Wells.  Public event, but due to the huge numbers attending bat group support welcome.  email leader if coming to help.  Due to the numbers split over 2 nights this year.

  • Approx. 8 to 10pm  Meet: by gatehouse over moat.
  • Leader: Dave Cottle (01749 674257) 
  • Bishop’s Palace, Wells, BA5 2PD, parking nearby Market Square or Silver St.

Frome Bat Walk – Sat in early September 2020 -POSTPONED

Another popular public walk this time lead by Adel for Frome Outdoor Open Spaces Group event at Welshmill Park, Frome.  Bat group members support welcome, please email Adel  if attending. £2 pp. (non members)

  • 7pm for 7:15 start, to 9 pm ish
  • Leader: Adel Avery
  • Meet:  Cheese and Grain Car Park by Canoe Club in Frome.

Bat Box checks Taunton  – Sat 5th Sept 2020 – cancelled

Checking the boxes in  Comeytrowe Park and Longrun Meadow, Taunton. Contact

  • Contact Cath Shellswell if attending
  • Starting at Comeytrowe 10am, continuing to Longrun Meadow finish approx 1PM

Bat Box Checks  – Saturday in October 2020 – cancelled

Great Breach Wood for the morning visit.  For the afternoon we’ll visit Ham Wall/Loxton’s Plot  Expect to see some Soprano pips, plus random bonus other species if we’re really lucky. And a nice walk through the trees!

Bat ID training course – Sat 21st Nov 2020 – POSTPONED

Come meet Dave’s extensive collection of mummified Bats!  Afternoon training course, looking at how to identify bat species.

Harridge Bat Box Checks  – Saturday in late 2020 (tbc)– cancelled

Probably starting  in Edford before moving on to Harridge.  We regularly find a few Noctules which seem to over-winter in their box.